Ed Rendell Harping on Gun Control

I guess Ed is a little pissed off after voters handed him a stunning defeat over the Act 1 tax shift proposal. He’s scolding the legislature over it’s refusal to pass gun control laws.

Gov. Ed Rendell today bashed the General Assembly for failing to pass gun control laws. “This Legislature, for too long, has been in control of the NRA,” Rendell said at a news conference with mayors from cities across the state and lawmakers pushing bills such as limiting handgun sales to one a month.

The Legislature for decades has resisted significantly tightening gun laws.

Asked for evidence of his statement that the Legislature has been under the “control” of the National Rifle Association, Rendell noted that penalties are tougher for receiving a stolen TV than a stolen gun.

Rendell is either ignorant of Pennsylvania law on this matter, or lying. Receiving stolen property is graded in Pennsylvania as a second degree felony if the property in question is a firearm. If the property is a car, it’s only a third degree felony. Receiving a television as stolen property is a first degree misdemeanor. I suspect Ed Rendell, as an attorney and former prosecutor, is well aware of this, and is deliberately misleading the public.

He said limiting handgun purchases to 12 a year would curb “straw purchases,” in which many weapons are purchased at once and resold to criminals.

Again, show me evidence that this constitutes a majority of trafficking, and show me proof that this law will have any real effect. South Carolina repealed its law because it didn’t. And Virginia weakened its one-gun-per month law. If 12 guns a year is enough, who’s to say that 1 a year isn’t enough? Sorry Ed, that’s not something politicians have any business deciding. Plus, if you only allow one a month, that means you’re keeping track of what I buy, right? Forgive me if I say f**k you.

Frankel said his amendment to make the penalty higher for receiving a stolen gun than a stolen TV failed last year in the House.

Funny, I just read the law, and the penalty is higher. If you want to see for yourself, look here to see how the law is graded. Here is the receiving stolen property law for Pennsylvania. I searched in vain for some evidence of Frankel’s defeated amendment, but couldn’t find it. It does appear in the past he’s tried to clarify the language by defining “firearm” in the state’s theft statute, probably to overcome the fact that a firearm can mean different things in different parts of Pennsylvania law, but still, this is house cleaning.

Politicians lie folks, and journalists don’t bother to check what they say or call them on their bullshit. It’s a sad state of affairs, but it’s part of the reason the blogosphere exists.